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Broadcast 1682 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on January 4th, 2012
Guest: Mark Sirangelo
Guest: Mark Sirangelo. Topics: Dream Chaser, hybrid rocket motors, human spaceflight & more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomes Mark Sirangelo of Sierra Nevada Corp Space Systems to the program to discuss Dream Chaser, hybrid rocket motors, human spaceflight, space policy, budgets and more. You can learn more about Dream Chaser at For those of you interested in learning more on the previous NASA HL-20 concept vehicle, visit We started our discussion by asking Mr. Sirangelo for a brief history and overview of Dream Chaser. He talked about the lifting body design and the capabilities of a lifting body, including costs and reusability. In response to questions he did say it was meant for LEO though later in the program he discussed the potential to scale Dream Chaser up if markets warranted it. He was also asked to compare the Dream Chaser style of vehicle to a capsule. Mark was asked about the choice of rocket, the Atlas V. While he explained that choice, he also said Dream Chaser was rocket agnostic. Don't miss his comments on the rocket question. A listener asked him to clarify the current status with the SAA, the FAR, and a possible CCDEV 3 round of NASA support. Mark said there would be a round three with a call for awards in February with winners announced later in the summer. He talked about the companies going to the next level, the Critical Design Review (CDR) and what this means for NASA as well as the companies. Mark talked about the switch back to the SAA but said at some point down the road, the FAR will likely be used, probably in the acquisition stage. Again, you do not want to miss what he had to say on this important issue. Yves from Canada asked about the launch abort system for Dream Chaser and its ability to land in places and the ocean instead of a designated runway. We talked about test flights, the number of needed flights, and the view that testing is not based on the number of flights but on successfully completing the essential and needed testing/flight protocols. In our second segment, Trent called from Australia and wanted to know more about the full history and struggles for Dream Chaser up to now. This time around Mark provided us with a more comprehensive vehicle history. We also talked quite a bit about the hybrid rocket motor so you will for sure want to hear this segment. Mark was asked if the Dream Chaser hybrid was the same being used for the Virgin SS2 and he said essentially yes other than for size. He was asked some more questions about his work on SS2 for Virgin but deferred those questions to Virgin . Our guest received a few questions about the GAP, buying rides on the Soyuz, recent Soyuz issues, and speeding up the development of Dream Chaser. Harry wanted to know about using Dream Chaser for various types of orbital space tourism, and much was said about certifying Dream Chaser as safe for human spaceflight. Near the end, Robert wanted to know if Dream Chaser might be used for Point to Point travel. John from Jersey City called to ask about multiple markets for Dream Chaser. As our discussion was drawing to a close, our guest was asked about hypergolic fuels and reaction control systems and again about the thermal protection system. Please post your comments/questions for Mark Sirangelo on The Space Show blog at the above URL.

About our guest...

Mark Sirangelo
Mark Sirangelo leads Sierra Nevada Space Systems, a producer of satellites, space transportation vehicles, propulsion systems and space sub‐systems. He also is the Chairman of the SNC Space Systems Board. He was formerly the Chairman & CEO of SpaceDev, Inc., prior to its merging with SNC. Mr. Sirangelo’s industry board memberships include being Chairman Emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the founding Chairman of eSpace, The Center for Space Entrepreneurship. His charity boards include being a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and a founding board member and current Treasurer of the International Centre for Children. Corporate and personal awards include the NASA/Space Foundation’s Technology Hall of Fame, Defense Industry’s Fast Track 50, Deloitte’s Fast Track 500, Ernst &Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Inc. Magazine’s top 200 companies. Mr. Sirangelo holds Doctorate, MBA and Bachelor of Science degrees, has been scientifically published, has served as an officer in the US Military and is a licensed pilot.

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